Tales from long ago continue to inspire dreams. An old book, a bit worn for its age, 1889, stating it was privately printed, only 300 copies, rests quietly on my shelf. The first line intrigues and more follows.
It has been justly remarked that “the literature of a nation furnishes the best guide to researches into its character, manners, and opinions, and no department of literature contains more ample store of data in this respect that the light and popular part consisting of tales, romances, and dramatic pieces.”
Tucked within the story of Hatim Tai and the Lady,
- May the rose of your nature constantly
- Be blooming joyfully in the spring of generosity!
- The hand of your liberality, beauteous fairy,
- Is shedding jewels like the vernal cloud.
- Your servant has a difficulty,
- Which causes him great anxiety:
- If you grant my petition,
- I shall humbly explain it.
- A guest is a flower from the garden of prosperity and mercy;
- He is the fruit of the spring of happiness.
- Whoever is inhospitable injures his own soul.
I absolutely love this first line what does our literature tell generations to come about who we are – today.
A Group of Eastern Romances and Stories from Persian, Tamil, and Urdu with introduction, notes and appendix by W.A. Clouston, April 1889
By Keri Douglas, writer/photographer, Washington, D.C. (Please follow 9 Muses News copyright use policy.)